Today I’m participating in a group blogging! WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about finding love in unimaginable places. Why this topic? We’re celebrating the release of Michael French’s twenty-fourth novel. Once Upon a Lie (Terra Nova Books) is an exploration of the secrets families keep, and the ways those secrets can tear a family apart. Visit The Muffin (http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com) to read what Michael has to say on finding love in unexpected places and view the list of all my blogging buddies. Visit Michael’s website (http://www.michaelrfrench.com/) to find out more about the author.
Check out the following link to see all the participating bloggers: http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/2016/07/everybodys-talking-about-finding-love.html
And read on to hear my take on the topic….
Finding love in unimaginable places
The day I fell in a hole in downtown Havana was not one of my finest moments.
I am not sure it happened, it should have been avoidable, it was a huge gaping hole in the center of the street and I fell right in like it was calling to me. I scraped my leg painfully and had to retreat to the Hemingway bar’s washroom to clean the blood off my leg and foot. A couple of Mojitos helped to numb the pain, but my ego didn’t recover for quite a while.
Little did I know that only minutes later a handsome Canadian would walk past that hole and complain that it was a death trap and someone was bound to fall in it. He was there looking for me. We had met the night before at our hotel in Varadero and he knew I was on a tour of Havana the next day and so had also traveled there to see if we could accidently, on purpose, bump into each other.
Despite missing each other by mere minutes at various tourist spots around the city, it wasn’t until we were back at the hotel, after dinner that our paths crossed again.
With a group of friends, we took a walk down to the beach, it was someone’s birthday and a bottle of champagne was being passed around, as we got down to the ocean, watching the breeze rustling through the palm trees and stepped upon the cool sand, everyone started to strip down to their swimwear and some even more daring took everything off running into the surf, laughing and jumping in the waves.
I sat on a sun lounger, perching on the end, feeling self-conscious, he sat beside me, close but not speaking. We watched the others playing and swimming and goofing around.
A drunk tourist from the neighboring hotel zig-zagged towards us, uneasy on his feet, he theatrically hushed us asking if we knew if there were any security guards around here, unbeknown to him a guard was standing directly behind him-he was marched away and we giggled together, enjoying the chance to share an experience that helped to alleviate the nervous energy that sparked between us.
Out of a clear indigo sky suddenly heavy raindrops began to fall, quickly becoming a torrential downpour, our friends ran out of the ocean passing us shrieking and wrapping their clothes around their cold naked bodies. Neither of us wanted to leave this intimate tableau, so we decamped to another sun lounger which had an umbrella attached to it, snuggling close to one another to avoid the downpour, the rhythmic raindrops created a soundtrack for what would be our very first kiss….
About Once Upon a Lie:
Twelve-year-old Jaleel Robeson is on the run after the police in his tiny Texas town try to frame him for the death of his father. A world away, Alexandra “Alex” Baten is growing up amid all the material comforts a wealthy Los Angeles lawyer can provide. One day, a simple cup of lemonade unites their lives, leading to a maze of adultery and murder that shatters Alex’s youthful innocence and Jaleel’s struggle to reshape his life.
While the forces of the law try to unravel the mysterious death―or at least find a scapegoat―the two youths see the trajectories of their lives entwine, unravel, and come together again. Justice, Alex learns, can be a strange and nebulous thing, easily enmeshed in webs of loyalty and betrayal. Justice, Jaleel finds, can be a powerful―but dangerous―rock on which to build a life of honor and courage. As their stories play out over the years in cities far apart, best-selling author Michael French fills the world of Alex and Jaleel with a cast of vivid characters both supporting and threatening their efforts to build a life that “works” amid the expectancies of others and their own conflicting drives.
About the Author:
A graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English and of Northwestern University with a master’s in journalism, Michael French is the author of twenty-four books: adult and young adult fiction, art criticism, biographies, adaptations, and gender studies. A native of Los Angeles, he also is a successful businessman, an avid high-altitude mountain trekker, a world traveler to developing countries, an activist, and, with his wife, Patricia, a philanthropist raising money for programs aiding teachers in Santa Fe, N.M., public schools, which are some of the most challenged in the country.